tv ABC World News Now ABC January 12, 2011 2:35am-4:00am EST
city. they're going to have a lot of catching up to do. so from new york city up toward boston do expect travel delays if not cancellations. >> even though you're the bearer of bad news we still love having you. so thank you so much, ava. >> good to see you. and atlanta, of course, is trying to thaw out from that brutal storm. ice was so thick that outside this guy's apartment right here he literally could skate down the street. more than 100 passengers have been stuck at the bus station since the weekend after greyhound literally stopped service out of atlanta. and parents of course are now scrambling, now that school has been canceled for a third straight day. lucky kids. authorities in australia have set up temporary morgues after a violent flash flood. a raging torrent of water left at least 12 people dead. nearly 70 are still missing this morning. many cars and homes were swept away when a cloud burst suddenly sent the floodwaters into a valley. 20,000 homes in brisbane are now in danger. and now to the first pictures from inside the hospital room of congresswoman gabrielle giffords. that's her husband there, mark
kelly, holding her hand. giffords remains in critical condition, but she is now breathing on her own. that's a great sign. and doctors say she is now moving both her arms. and one unusual event to honor saturday's victims took place last night. a group of bicyclists dismounted and walked their rides past the tucson hospital, where giffords and other victims are still being treated. last night also saw the first official tribute to the victims, a public mass at a catholic church. it was held at the parish where 9-year-old victim christina-taylor green was a member of the children's choir. meanwhile, investigators in arizona say they have recovered a new note in suspect jared loughner's house. they say it clearly makes reference to loughner's desire to see representative giffords dead. and we are also hearing from loughner's family for the first time, as pierre thomas reports. >> reporter: investigators are trying to piece together what is going on inside this man's mind, behind those eyes and that sinister smile. the loughner family released
their first statement. "we don't understand why this happened. it may not make any difference, but we wish we could change the heinous events of saturday. we care very deeply about the victims and their families. we are so very sorry for their loss." neighbor wayne smith went to see loughner's father. >> he couldn't get out three words without crying. and not only is he sad for his son, he is devastated over the people that was involved. she's in bed, and she's just broke down, just a nervous wreck. >> reporter: but other neighbors say the parents were part of the problem. >> i saw a child that wanted to come out and play and, you know, wasn't allowed to come out and play for whatever the reason might be. >> reporter: one of loughner's friends offered new insight into why his behavior was often so erratic. he tells abc news loughner was a heavy drug user. >> i know he had smoked pot. i know he had used cilicybin
mushrooms. i know he's used salvia, devenorum. >> reporter: meanwhile, 100 fbi agents continued to scour the crime scene and reconstruct loughner's life. so the investigation continues. but the fbi says they found no evidence anyone helped loughner. pierre thomas, abc news, tucson, arizona. and president obama will lead a federal delegation to tucson today, where they will all attend a memorial service at the university of arizona. >> on capitol hill democrats and republicans today will gather to honor representative giffords. many of them are talking about their own security. john hendren is in washington with the latest. >> reporter: to get into the u.s. capitol nowadays you first have to get screened in a capitol visitors center. then you can only get into part of the capitol under escort. but once members of congress are outside of the capitol and in their districts, security is almost non-existent. inside the fortress-like capitol congressional staffers signed a
book of condolences for victims who might just as easily been them. but once they're off capitol hill members of congress usually have no protection at all. sometimes it gets dicey. >> it's pretty routine to get -- get some very vitriolic, very angry, very aggressive people communicating with you. >> reporter: since the massacre in tucson highlighted how dangerous those interactions can be, chavis is one congressman who's packing heat. >> i wouldn't want to see anyone rush out and try to start carrying if they haven't been doing it in the past. i'd probably do it a little more regularly. >> reporter: that could pose new worries for capitol hill police. >> i've been a policeman for 42 years and i don't think introducing more guns to the situation is helpful. >> reporter: last year in the senate alone they made 49 arrests. the latest came two days before the arizona shooting. someone threatened to shoot colorado senator meek'll bennet's staff and set fire thoiz office. but bodyguards, metal detectors, most members don't seem to want
it. >> we can't let it interfere with how we do our jobs. to be a representative means being out there in the public close to your constituents. >> reporter: besides, gaynor says, who would have seen this coming? >> i probably wouldn't have done anything but talk to the lock'll police and have them stop by and take a look. >> reporter: today members of congress get a primer on security from local law enforcement authorities. and one of the things that's now expected to change is that capitol hill police are expected to coordinate with local police when members are in their home districts. rob and vinita. >> and as we said, today will be another big day out in tucson with the president's memorial. and you can stay with abc news throughout the morning and throughout the day today. we'll have the latest from arizona later today on "good morning america" as well as on "america this morning." jerry brown has a message for thousands of california state employees. hang up your phones for good. the new governor has ordered department heads to cut 48,000 state-issued cell phones by june. many state employees are complaining, saying their phones are lifelines. brown says that'll save about $20 million a year.
next on the chopping block, state-issued cars and trucks. in case you're wondering, he says "my phone is in my desk. i'm turning it in too. i'm not just make everyone else do, it i'm going to do it myself." >> tough times out in cali. well, to lighten the mood a little bit now, a fun little story. when playing fetch and rolling over just won't do, you might get this. >> a precious pooch in toronto has set his sights and paws on a more challenging hobby. i think you know where this is heading. >> mm-hmm. >> he enjoys playing the piano and singing the blues three or four times a day. >> which doesn't get at all annoying. take a listen. [ howling ] ♪ >> imagine being a neighbor next to this. >> poocherace. but this is not a case of practice makes perfect. tucker's family say despite his efforts he actually shockingly is not getting any better. >> the fact this is now a viral
video says a lot about what we're willing to watch all day long, a dog singing. >> it does not take much. this kid will be on oprah next week. this dog. you know that. oh, man. >> all right. we will be right back with more "world news now." why don't we have schnoodle or whatever his name is, tucker the schnoodle play us out to break? go, tucker. ♪ shop till you drop. relax by the pool. at a four-star hotel for a two-star price from hotwire.com. so you get ridiculously low prices, backed by our low price guarantee. like four stars in chicago, travelocity published price $189. hotwire hot rate just $85. hotwire.com. four-star hotels. two-star prices. ♪ h-o-t-w-i-r-e save big on car rentals too. from $13.95 a day. how about both? with covergirl lashblast fusion.
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in the things you can't wash with febreze. febreze gets rid of odors... and leaves a light fresh scent. family ] ahhhhhh... [ male announcer ] it's a breath of fresh air. all that mess we told you about down south, guess what? here it is now in new york city. that monster storm has marched up the east coast and is slamming much of our region this morning all the way from philadelphia up into new england. some areas could see almost a foot and a half of snow, 6 to 12 inches expected here in new york. a messy wednesday morning commute. for all lucky folks, you still have to go to work in all this.
>> you could just see those shots. so many complaints after the first blizzard here in the northeast that the plows were not out and about. you can see them in that shot. >> they're out today. >> definitely out and about today. all right. well, the man who michael jackson's family and friends say is to blame for the music star's death will now stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. >> a judge made that ruling late yesterday. now, dr. conrad murray faces a very high-profile trial. miriam hernandez of kabc has the story. >> reporter: grateful siblings of michael jackson depart the courthouse with a ruling they wanted. >> very happy about everything. >> reporter: dr. conrad murray will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. the decision was sealed with the prosecution's final two witnesses. the coroner's chief of forensic medicine, dr. christopher rogers, conducted the autopsy, finding that jackson had been in excellent health, that it was acute propofol intoxication on top of other muscle relaxants that caused jackson's cardiac arrest and murray's failure to respond correctly. a second expert witness, dr. richard ruffalo, went further. he said murray should have known
about the addictive qualities of the sedative propofol, should have known not to use it, should have monitored jackson, and should have known how to revive him. but the defense posed a new theory. not just the possibility jackson awoke and administered more propofol to himself through an iv while the doctor stepped out but that jackson also could have awakened, grabbed a bottle of propofol, and swallowed it. that would explain higher levels of the sedative found in jackson's stomach. ruffalo first rejected the theory saying the levels in the stomach were not high. he later reversed himself saying his math was wrong. yet his overall conclusion stood, that murray failed to tend to his patient and was unprepared to revive him. his attorney, j. michael flanigan. >> i don't know. i thought we brought out what the facts were today. >> reporter: the judge also revoked murray's license to practice, effective immediately. randy jackson notes it will be a long road ahead for the family, as the case now heads to trial. this is miriam hernandez reporting for abc news. >> and the doctor will be back in court january 25th. that's the date of the next hearing. and at that hearing is where the
trial date will be set. that will be another circus of a trial for sure. it's going to be a spectacle. >> we're all heard now that michael jackson took to calling propofol his milk. but there are now reports from one of the bodyguards that apparently before they actually called 911 they went about picking up the propofol bottles and placing them into bags. so there's a lot of conflicting reports about what actually transpired in those last moments. just sad to see it play out like this. all right. coming up, you trust your smartphone to send text messages to the right person. >> but that is not the case with a certain kind of cell phone, and it's led to some pretty embarrassing situations. that story next.
snow on the ground. the rest of us, 49 out of 50, are grappling with the headache and the travel nightmares. >> it is a mess. maybe we can convince them to move the show to miami. they can we can make that pitch? we'll try. if you're an at&t iphone user who often wants to smash your phone to pieces, you're in luck. verizon has announced they will start selling their own version of the popular apple phone next month. >> the verizon phone will be very similar to at&t's in price and in function. but unlike at&t's, it will also be a portable wi-fi hot spot. the phone goes on sale february 10th. lines will be long. well, owners of the droid cell phone might be thinking about switching to the new iphone or any cell phone after hearing this next story. >> it seems that a bug in the phone is sending text messages to the wrong recipients. which as jacqueline allen of denver's kmgh, found out can leave the sender in a little bit of hot water. >> reporter: adnan mahmoud isn't exactly proud of what happened because of a bug in his cell phone. >> this is not good at all. >> reporter: this lakewood based c.o.o. of a children's clothing company is a tech-savvy texter.
>> how much do you text? >> about 3,000 text messages a month. >> 3,000. >> yep. >> reporter: recently he bought an android phone. >> when you did first notice there was a problem? >> about a week after i got the phone. >> reporter: the fatal flaw. he would text someone on his contact list. and instead his phone would send it to another random contact. this is where he starts to squirm. >> i had sent one of my guy friends a picture of a girl that i hooked up with. and that message actually went to a different girl that i was trying to date. didn't work out very well. >> reporter: he's not alone. we've found android texting problems is a hot topic on forums where users call it a recipe for disaster. one man claims he texted a potential employer about a contract and it went to his current boss. after months of complaints google quietly acknowledged the problem on this droid forum, saying it's occurring very rarely and they've developed a fix which hasn't been released. for now mahmoud says his cell
carrier told him to install a free texting app called handsent. >> so far nobody's complained. so i'm hoping it's working. >> reporter: he says he's taking one for the team. >> you sent the picture of one girl to another girl you were trying to date? >> by accident, yes. >> reporter: because after this story he's pretty sure he'll never get a date again. >> i just wanted this information to be known to as many people as possible so they don't end up embarrassing themselves or finding themselves in the situation that i did. >> it's hard to be a player when the text message goes to the wrong girl. that's rough. >> the worst reality of this story also is that they kind of knew about this problem for something like six months and they said it was only a medium priority. >> mm. to that dude it's definitely --
>> good job, vinita. it's the hardest we've worked in months. you missed a spot. >> i did a good job. >> just another day here at the office. oh. now it's on. >> my mascara! >> good shot. ♪ >> you do the bottom circle and i'll do a top one. >> oh, god, i haven't done this in years. it's so powdery. >> yeah. that's a good bottom. >> there you go. oh, you killed him. you killed frosty. >> there we go.
i guess the key is to not push on it at all, and i keep pushing on it. ♪ da, da, da, da >> our one viewer. >> announcer: "world news now" delivers your "morning papers." it's a neverending commitment to serious journalism here on "world news now," even in the midst of what do they call it, the weather bomb snowstorm out there. >> i'd like to think that video justifies my hideous footwear now as well. we had to go out and we may have to walk home. so. >> those are some serious boots there. >> i know. >> are your feet sweating? >> i'm from texas. i'm cold all the time. >> a few morning papers here in the time we have left this morning. i don't know if people in vermont take their syrup very seriously. mcdonald's has this new oatmeal they're advertising as sweet harmony calling it fruit and maple oatmeal. but the folks in vermont don't
like this too much because they say we have a set of laws and regulations and in maple law it has to come from the sap of the maple tree or syrup and they're saying mcdonald's is not the real stuff and they've written a letter to mcdonald's say look, you're not using genuine maple syrup, we don't like it. mcdonald's say we'll look into it but i can't imagine what they'd do it which mcrib up there. >> i just had a very proud moment. that's madill, my alma mater. an oatmeal sfoirp. >> syrup and stuff. that's fantastic. >> as we leave you we should say to everyone good luck traveling out there. this is times sq >> for information on services for oldeadults, the eldercare locator can help! >> i havlived in my house for 40 years and want to stay in my community. having someone help me with transportation makes that possible. >> the eldercare locator can put you in touch with loc resources to help older persons find home and mmunity based services. call 1.800.677.1116 or visit eldercare.gov today!
can expect. private moments. the pictures taken inside gabby giffords' hospital room as tucson remembers victims of the rampage. and family disturbance. the formerly homeless man with the golden voice gets in trouble. it's wednesday, january 12th. well, good morning, everyone. from what you can see is a very snowy new york city. i'm rob nelson. >> and i'm vinita nair. as you can see, i'm business on the top, blizzard on the bottom. the snow and ice storm that has paralyzed much of the south is now pounding the northeast. >> for sure. at least 1,000 flights are expected to be canceled today. and major hubs like atlanta and newark. steve osunsami starts off our coverage now from coldlanta. >> reporter: first there is this amazing image. the ice was so thick outside evan freeman's atlanta apartment, he could skate down
his street. >> georgia just ain't prepared for it, and they ain't got nobody that knows what's going on. >> reporter: cars spinning out. people sliding down sidewalks. at the bus station the buses never came. >> people are hungry. how can you just let people sit there, starve, and not do anything about it? it's just terrible. >> reporter: on the freeways outside atlanta families spent the night stuck on ice. >> i was able to maneuver through for a while to get to this point. then i got to this point and couldn't go no farther. >> reporter: bart and michelle lester haven't left their home in days and they're rung out of milk. the road to their home is too slick to drive. >> we're stuck here. we're sort of locked in. >> reporter: those who could get out rushed to the grocery stores. in new york city they're bracing for another 8 to 12 inches of snow. >> our sanitation department has 365 salt spreaders and 1,700 plows ready. >> reporter: to avoid a repeat
of the chaos over christmas, they're putting sleds in every ambulance so paramedics can pull patients across the snow. and gps tracking devices on snow plows so the city can send trucks where they're most needed. >> we know exactly where they are. get them on the radio and transport them over there. >> reporter: health officials are warning residents in the northeast as they prepare to shovel all that snow. they point out that the weight of the snow that falls on an average driveway could be equal to the weight of a car. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. and that storm that started in atlanta is now marching up the coast. it was a beautiful sight, though, as the snow fell on downtown washington, d.c. picture there. snow totals in that area ranged from just a trace to about an inch. however, in rhode island emergency officials are preparing for up to 16 inches of snow in that state. the d.o.t. has 400 plows out on the road to pretreat ahead of the storm and clear away all the white stuff later in the day.
schools across the state, of course, have been closed. well, despite all of the best-laid plans we just can't shovel out fast enough from this latest snowstorm. >> for more on this so-called weather bomb and the snowy forecast on the west coast, we turn now to accuweather's ava dinges. good morning, ava. >> good morning, rob and vinita. and to start off, let's talk about what a weather bomb actually is. well, it's a rapidly intensifying storm system. and these often come on the east coast because we get the mild air over the ocean, that's where the storm draws its energy, but that cold air toward the interior and that storm actually relies on that temperature difference in order to feed itself and strengthen. so the storms go up the east coast. they strengthen, intensify, get very heavy snow, strong winds, and then the storm hits its highest point, it piles, and it's a bomb. so whether the storm will actually do that now, time is going to tell. but it at least has the capability to. it's bringing some very heavy snow right now across new jersey getting into new york city and eventually starting to push its way into boston as well. as far as the winds go, they're
not very impressive right now. nine miles per hour in new york city. 15 in boston. as we go throughout the day boston could see wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour, and that's why they're expecting blizzard conditions at times. for new york it's not supposed to be exactly a blizzard. just blowing and drifting snow as we go throughout the day and then this storm, which could bomb out, should be heading to the east coast, and if it is going to bomb out it will be as it continues to track north and east. now, we do have another storm on the way for the northwest, but for the northeast snow accumulations about 12 to 18 inches in boston. looks like new york city could see 6 to 12. >> ava working hard as always. the conditions in boston, will they be similar to what we saw here in new york during that blizzard right after christmas? >> well, in fact, that christmas blizzard, or the post-christmas one, did bomb out. it was about 24 millibar drop in pressure in 24 hours. and this storm has the potential. and if it does, it would be near boston. and that's why they may see the worst of the conditions with this storm. >> all right. ava dinges reporting live.
thanks for that report, ava. the death toll is still climbing in australia following monday's devastating flash flood. after weeks of drenching rain and widespread flooding, a raging wall of water washed away homes, cars, everything in its path. at least 12 people were killed and nearly 70 remain missing. evacuations are now under way in brisbane, where 20,000 homes are in danger. and now we switch gears back to the aftermath of saturday's tragedy in tucson. investigators now say they have found another menacing note in the home of suspect jared loughner. >> they believe it clearly references representative gabrielle giffords and loughner's desire to see her dead. meanwhile, we are getting the first pictures from inside giffords' hospital room. >> t.j. winick is in tucson with the very latest this morning. hi, t.j. >> reporter: good morning, rob and vinita. president obama arrives later today here in tucson. he will be speaking at a memorial service at the university of arizona campus not far from here. according to the white house, his remarks will focus on the victims, the heroes, and all of
those impacted by this tragedy. the thoughts and prayers here in tucson seem neverending. it was a catholic mass for the six who decide during saturday's shooting rampage and the 14 injured survivors. ♪ we're getting our first look inside congresswoman giffords' hospital room. these pictures taken sunday show mark kelly holding his wife's hand. she continues to make remarkable progress. >> she's able to generate her own breaths. she's breathing on her own. as long as we don't backslide and as long as she holds her own, that's good. that keeps us hopeful. >> reporter: bill heilman says his wife, susan, wakes up screaming for little christina-taylor green. she brought her 9-year-old neighbor to the congress on your corner event, where the young girl was killed in the gunfire. >> i hear her in her semi-conscious ramblings screaming out, "christina, christina, let's get out of here. let's get out of here." and she keeps talking about the holding of hands and then the
realization that she is on the ground and the bleeding was profuse. her memory seems to end there. >> reporter: 25 miles north of phoenix, jared lee loughner sits in a federal prison. the 22-year-old's parents released this statement. "we don't understand why this happened. it may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events of saturday. we care very deeply about the victims and their families. we are so very sorry for their loss." perhaps with thoughts about self-defense or concerns that tougher gun restrictions are on the way, gun sales here in arizona have actually surged since this past saturday. amongst the biggest sellers, the glock 19 handgun, the very weapon that jared loughner allegedly used in the shootings. rob and vinita? >> t.j., thanks. arizona lawmakers have moved with tremendous speed to ban picketing near upcoming funerals for the victims killed last saturday. the westboro baptist church has been protesting at funerals of soldiers killed in iraq and afghanistan and they were threatening to protest the tucson funerals as well. the new arizona law bans such
protests within 300 feet of a funeral or burial service. it was unanimously passed and signed into law within 90 minutes tuesday. and later this morning we will return to tucson for the latest on the tragedy and today's presidential visit. our coverage continues on "america this morning" and "good morning america." so stay with abc news throughout the day. in other news now, today marks the one-year anniversary of that magnitude 7 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people in haiti. >> international aid poured into the country in the days following the tragedy. but it doesn't seem to have made much of a dent. matt gutman reports now from port-au-prince. >> reporter: this was the hotel montana. it was six stories high when the earthquake hit one year ago it crumbled entirely. there were 280 people killed right here. it's now being rebuilt slowly and with private funds. no government aid or any money from ngos. and that's the way it's been in haiti. much of the reconstruction that you do see in the street is being done piecemeal.
people trying to fix up their own homes using wheelbarrows, buckets, and picks to try to shovel dirt out. and that rubble removal is still the biggest challenge in this country. we also heard from the prime minister that the death toll has been revised upwards. it was 230,000. it is now 316,000 people who died either during the earthquake itself or in the days after it. that is 3% of the entire population of haiti. there will be so many memorials all over this city and all over this country. specifically at 4:53 p.m. that's when the earthquake hit. and what they're going to say here during this memorial is something that many haitians say, which is "ma bole." i'm still here. matt gutman, abc news, port-au-prince, haiti. michael jangs's doctor will go on trial for manslaughter in connection with the star's death. a judge in los angeles ruled yesterday that there is enough evidence against conrad murray for the case to move forward. experts testified that murray
should have never used the powerful anesthetic propofol in a home setting without the proper equipment. the judge also suspended murray's medical license. nasa says it now understands what is causing cracks in the space shuttle "discovery's" fuel tank. and the space agency claims that if repairs are successful "discovery's" long-delayed next mission could begin by the end of next month. but one of nasa's biggest supporters, senator bill nelson of florida, says if things aren't sorted out soon the whole mission should be canceled. well, throwing out your own christmas tree does not have to be a mundane task. >> in germany they've made an event of it. the annual world christmas tree-throwing championships. that actually looks kind of fun. dozens of men and women tried their hand at hurling their evergreens. as you can see it, they did it in more ways than one. there was the javelin throw we just saw, the spinning throw, and then there was the high jump throw. >> competitors traveled from all over germany for this. the big prize was a semi-edible reindeer trophy.
>> reporter: the guy that won threw a christmas tree 12 meters. which to me is shocking. that's a good hurl. >> those aren't small trees. >> i'm sorry i threw mine out. looks like i found a new way to do it. >> we'll be right back after this. ♪ you're the best ♪ nothing's going to ever keep you down ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing listerine® zero™.
welcome back. you can see the roads are almost clear right now. this is on the entrance of the george washington bridge. earlier we were looking at some video feeds and we saw people, it looked like a slip and slide. cars were really having trouble getting around. >> a messy commute. if you want proof listen to this stat. as of wednesday morning 49 of 50 states had either snow falling or snow on the ground. mother nature is not playing around this winter. >> i guess we're all in this together. you can see that was a live image of times square we left you on also. >> oh, yeah. we knew this story was going to have a weird ending and apparently it has. ted williams, the man we told you about, the homeless guy with the golden voice, well, he's hit a little bump in the road to redemption. >> he was given a second chance on life when that viral video of him pushed him into the spotlight. well, it turns out that
spotlight may have been too bright. leo stallworth has more. >> reporter: ted williams has gone from a homeless recovering addict in ohio to the national spotlight thanks to this video featuring his golden voice on youtube. >> going to make you work for your dollar. say something with that great radio voice. >> and you're listening to nothing but the best of oldies, you're listening to magic 98.9. >> reporter: ted williams is in los angeles making television appearances. his newfound fame took a bit of a detour when he was detained by police and taken to the hollywood division police station following what police say was a heated argument with his daughter at the renaissance hotel in hollywood. police say they responded to a disturbance call when they went to the hotel. i talked to hollywood division police. off camera they told me that they detained williams and his daughter, brought them here to the hollywood division police station last night, talked to them, calmed them down, then released them. no charges were filed. police would not say what the nature of the argument was between williams and his daughter. they did say the heated exchange appears to be a minor incident. we talked to people about the incident. >> i'm a little bit disappointed
because he seemed to be getting back on track with his life and everything seemed to be going okay. and so that's sad that there's going to be family problems with all of his good news. >> ted williams is a lucky guy to have had been given a second chance like he's been given. and if there's been an altercation with -- perhaps with the family, it's because i think in the past because of his background there's been some family feuding going on. >> it's absolutely a family matter. family matters should be left to family matters unless there's extreme violence of some sort. when there's extreme violence, then the police have to step in. but otherwise, it's a family matter. and let the family matter be the family matter. >> reporter: no word on how long williams plans to stay in the los angeles area. leo stallworth reporting for abc news. >> you know, ted williams was very honest when all this came out and said i'm a recovered alcoholic and the sad reality is now there are a lot of rumors that he's drinking again. and they're saying it's one bottle of grey goose a night. so the spotlight was a lot for
and welcome back, everybody. the big story of the day is going to be that monster storm that is pounding the northeast this morning. you're looking at a snowy picture of times square. >> you can see it's not really falling yet but we were out there and it certainly has been falling. it's kind of on and off at this point. >> worst will be coming overnight. so stay tuned. well, the latest shot in the battle of the cell phones has been fired. on tuesday verizon announced its long-awaited version of the iphone. >> so when can excited verizon customers and frustrated at&t ones get their hands on one? john hendren joins us from washington with all of the details. >> reporter: they've set the date for a union of two marquee
names february 10th. and there are some quarters where it's the coupling of the year. for technophiles this is the year's royal wedding. >> early next month the iphone 4 will be part of the great verizon wireless portfolio of products. >> reporter: verizon says "i do" to the iphone. >> their day has finally come. or i should say their day's on at least their calendar now. >> reporter: the marriage with verizon follows a three-year exclusive relationship with at&t that showcased a phone with an unrivaled cool factor. >> the iphone has been a phenomenal success and has completely changed the expectation of what you carry in your pocket. >> reporter: maybe. but the exclusive deal with at&t limited sales in the u.s. for apple, which watched google's rival android outsell the iphone last year. some analysts predict that could now change. >> i think you'll see things finally shift. >> reporter: not everyone agrees. at&t insists the verizon data service is slower. and then there are those two-year contracts. at&t activated 11.1 million
iphones in the first nine months of 2010 alone. >> i'm not convinced that it's going to be a huge exodus from at&t. >> reporter: for apple there's no down side. with the cost of the iphone unchanged at $199 to $299, at&t and verizon won't be competing on price. analysts say the rival phone service companies might end up competing on services, and that can set up a bidding war on data and texting. the winner analysts say would be the consumer. vinita and rob? >> then we hear a lot about the 4g network that's out there right now. which is a lotfaster. the verizon phone will only work on the 3g. >> there are rumors there could be another iphone come summer time. >> you never know.
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♪ we're two of a kind ♪ making a go ♪ making it grow ♪ together silver spoons. that was the theme song. brought back some memories. >> when you think of prestigious schools you probably think of harvard or yale. but there is really an esteemed one in england that most people forget about. england's pig academy. >> pig academy. that's what you say. well, the bbc's richard westcott has more from down on the farm. >> reporter: ow. i have to say this very quietly, whisper it really. we've been consuming a lot more pork products in the last few years. 6,000 extra tons in the uk last year. so now they are trying to encourage more farmers, more people who haven't raised pigs before, to look after the animals. people like paul, who now has 750 pigs. are they fun to look after? >> great to look after.
as you can see, they're all individual characters. and they are -- it's just woken the farm up again, and the farm's come alive again with the pigs back on the farm. >> reporter: the new pig academy based in lincolnshire will offer training on all aspects of the business, from keeping the animals healthy to raising the cash. if it works, they plan others across the country. and you won't need any previous experience to apply. >> we're looking to attract, yes, existing farms but also new entrants into the industry. if you want to try something a bit different. i think it's a real viable business opportunity for anyone to get involved in. >> reporter: britain's pig farmers have had a lean time in the past decade. problems including disease and high feed prices mean animal numbers have almost halved. >> it's had its problems over the years, but at the moment it's just experiencing that bit of growth. a bit of growth in terms of the consumer buying more. a bit of growth in terms of more pigs being produced. so it's really at the beginning of an exciting stage now.
>> reporter: just half the pork we eat comes from british pigs. the academy organizers plan to change that. richard westcott, bbc news, shingle hall farm in suffolk. >> if this tv thing doesn't work out, well, we have, you know, some opportunities out there, vinita. >> yeah. pig academy. probably some good eating there. >> that's right. where is my bacon? >> yeah, i don't think i like this. with me. i'm not too happy with these pigs. >> we do not look happy at all. good lord. at least we're well fed. that counts for something. >> f3q
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criticism. >> struggling south. the ice storm in atlanta, and the travelers still stranded today. and somber scene. remembering the victims of the tucson rampage before today's presidential visit. it's wednesday january 12th. that picture says it all. good morning, everybody, from our little winter wonderland here in new york city. i'm rob nelson. >> so wonderful to be an anchor inside the studio today. >> warm, toasty. good to be back, yeah. >> i'm vinita nair. commuters across the northeast are getting ready for another rough morning on the roads and the rails. just look at times square. actually, this is george washington parkway we're looking at right now. an intense winter storm is dumping heavy wet snow from new york north. >> it's going to be a mess. thousands of flights have already been canceled, adding to the travel mess around the country. john berman has been out and about on the snowy streets of new york this morning and is joining us live now by phone. good morning to you, john. what's it like out there?
oh, we don't have him. >> you know, when you look at scenes like this, it's really not surprising that you're going to have technical difficulties because this snow just keeps coming down. in fact, we've been watching this wall throughout the course of this morning, and it's almost hilarious to see these drivers like slip and slide. it's really hard to get your footing on this ice. you can see one taxi there. that's all we have right now. but as we've been talking about, parts of the northeast could see up to two feet of snow by the time this monster storm is over. >> and of course the south started digging out from the mess they had the last two days. for the latest on the forecast now let's check things out with accuweather meteorologist ava dinges. good morning, ava. >> good morning, rob and vinita. and i am also in a warm studio, but i can look at the storm on the radar and it does look like a mess out there. we've seen the heaviest of the snow over new jersey into new york city. it's just starting to build toward boston as well. and we are going to see more snow with this as we go into these next couple of hours. new york city, the worst of it really coming for the morning commute. bad news for a lot of people as they head outdoors, but things will be improving in new york city as we go throughout the day.
but pretty treacherous in boston throughout the entire day. now, the storm heading up the northeast coast, where it is going to strengthen. and that could potentially be a weather bomb in the fact of how strong it is going to get as it moves up the northeast coast. and we are going to see blizzard conditions at times into cities like boston because of the heavy snow and also the strong winds. boston could easily see wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour. now, all along the east coast potentially 6 to 12 inches of snow. new york city has already gotten at least 1/4 of that, and they're going to see about 6 to 12. boston could be getting about 12 to 18. the storm really intensifying off the coast of massachusetts. and that's why boston will be getting the heaviest of the snow and those blizzard conditions at times. and it is just a line of storms. it's that time of year. here we're tracking a new storm in the northwest. right now it's been bringing snow to seattle. but temperatures are actually starting to warm up across the west. so we're going to see this change over to actually some rain across much of the northwest. unfortunately, this is going to bring the flooding concerns across the northwest for the majority of the week.
now back to you, rob and vinita. >> it feels like deja vu, doesn't it, ava? >> it absolutely does. >> thanks. >> groundhog day. >> she has a tough job the last couple of weeks. thanks, ava. well, parts of the south of course are expected to remain in the icy aftermath of this storm until at least the weekend. >> mail delivery has been delayed, and thousands of school kids will get another day off. and atlanta passengers have been stuck at the bus station since sunday. steve osunsami reports. >> reporter: people who live in atlanta have never seen it quite like this. across this city, especially on the side roads, there is an inch of ice covering the roads, making travel quite difficult for everyone in this city. there are very fewnowplows and snow trucks to clear it away. on the highways outside the city people spent the night on those highways because of the icy roads. at the airport thousands of flights were canceled. at the bus stations the buses were not coming. there were many people sleeping
at those bus stations overnight. >> people are hungry. how can you just let people sit there, starve, and not do anything about it? it's just terrible. >> reporter: health officials are warning residents in the northeast as they prepare to shovel all that snow. they point out that the weight of the snow that falls on an average driveway could be equal to the weight of a car. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. >> rough all over. from the commuters having trouble in atlanta we turn now to the commuters having trouble here in new york. our very own john berman has been sort of braving these streets. john, it's been a rough evening and morning for you, i'm guessing. >> reporter: it's been lovely. it's a winter wonderland out here, guys. no, actually, a car just drove by us and asked us if we were doing okay because we were just parked here for a second. we said yeah, yeah, we're fine, we're fine. look, we've been out all night, and so have the snowplows in new york city. we've seen dozens and dozens of them on the street. i even got to ride on a backhoe that was clearing out an intersection. they are taking this storm very,
very seriously, and they want to have these roads as clean as they possibly can. we were just in the emergency management operations center, and they said so far so good here. the only problem they've seen is some disabled vehicles on the roads, and they've been able to clear them out fairly quickly. the emergency vehicles have been able to get where they need to go. it is snowing very hard. you can see it. i don't know if you can see it out of this car here. it's coming down an inch or two an hour. but you know, i can't tell if it's really going to accumulate more than the eight inches that were predicted. and so far the streets are drivable, passable. i wouldn't recommend it unless you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle like this and a great driver here like jake whitman, who is -- >> oh, our old boss. no, you're in good hands. >> well, jake, good luck with that white-knuckle drive. >> there's jake. thought you got off there, didn't you -- >> well, you guys are probably the only people on the road by choice this morning. but we appreciate your time, jake and john. stay safe out there. good luck. >> thanks a lot, guys.
>> reporter: take care, guys. well, from the weather we turn to the aftermath of saturday's massacre in tucson. >> investigators there have found another note at the home of suspect jared loughner. they say it clearly indicates his desire to see representative gabrielle giffords dead. >> and we now have our first pictures from inside giffords' hospital room. that's her husband holding her hand. >> president obama and house minority leader nancy pelosi will both be in tucson today to pay tribute to the victims. t.j. winick is there for us now this morning and has the latest for us. hi, t.j. >> reporter: good morning, rob and vinita. we just want to show you this makeshift memorial and vigil taking place behind us here. this seems to grow in size day after day. it seems the thoughts and prayers in tucson this week are neverending. on tuesday night it was a catholic mass being held for the six who died during saturday's shooting rampage and the 14 injured survivors. meantime, here at tucson's university medical center, congresswoman gabrielle giffords continues to make remarkable
progress. doctors reported that she is now breathing on her own. >> as long as we don't backslide and as long as she holds her own, that's good. that keeps us hopeful. >> reporter: bill heilman says his wife susan wakes up screaming for little christina-taylor green. she brought her 9-year-old neighbor to the congress on your corner event, where the young girl was killed in the gunfire. >> i hear her in her semi-conscious ramblings screaming out, "christina, christina, let's get out of here, let's get out of here." and she keeps talking about the holding of hands and then the realization that she was on the ground and the bleeding was profuse. her memory seems to end there. >> reporter: 25 miles north of phoenix, meanwhile, jared lee loughner, the shooting suspect, sits in a federal prison. the 22-year-old's parents released this statement. "we don't understand why this happened. it may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events of saturday. we care very deeply about the victims and their families. we are so very sorry for their
loss." perhaps with concerns about self-defense or concerns that tougher gun restrictions are on the way, gun sales here in arizona have actually increased since the shooting. from sunday to monday sales jumped 60%. rob and vinita? >> and our coverage from tucson will continue throughout the day. for the president's trip to arizona. we'll bring you the very latest, of course, on "america this morning" and on "good morning america" later today. stay with us right here on abc news. a presidential panel looking into the gulf oil spill warns there could be another large-scale disaster if dramatic changes aren't made. the national oil spill commission unanimously endorsed 15 recommendations to the oil industry, congress, and the obama administration. among the recommendations, more money for the agency that regulates offshore drilling. and now to a baby girl in the twin cities with one of the coolest birthdays around. >> little flora mensah came to the world yesterday on 1-11-11. if that's not enough 1s to keep
track of, she just happened to be born exactly at 1:11 in the morning. >> wow. >> doctors say they didn't do anything special to help the birth occur at that magical moment. >> and mom says the numbers are the last thing on her mind. that's no surprise since the baby weighed, get this, 9 pounds 11 ounces. that is so crazy. ♪ this magic moment >> magic moment. >> what a cute little baby. >> that is adorable. >> i love when the cheeks are like that. they're so big. >> sleeping good. we'll be right back, everybody. don't go far. ♪ until i kissed you ♪ and then it happened introducing a breath of fresh air.
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while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. get lunesta for a $0 co-pay at lunesta.com. sleep well, on the wings of lunesta. welcome back. verizon has finally announced what so many cell phone users were waiting for. they will soon be carrying the iphone. >> by some estimates at&t stands to lose, get this, 6.5 million
customers to verizon, setting off what you could call an iphone war between the two companies. here now is neal karlinsky. >> reporter: let's face it. after all of the hype, all of the pomp and circumstance, isn't this a bit ridiculous? all this for just another cell phone? >> okay. i guess by the looks of all of you here in the room you're expecting a big announcement today. >> reporter: but this isn't about just a phone. this is the iphone. this is at&t versus verizon. this is war. >> we're incredibly pleased to give verizon customers the choice they've been waiting for. we've designed an iphone 4 which has all the features that you would expect. >> reporter: at the heart of the fight is a single constant iphone complaint. it's an amazing device but boy, does it drop calls. and the blame has landed squarely on at&t. >> they have really dropped the ball on this.
they had a golden opportunity. they could have been kings. and instead they are the object of so much ire. >> reporter: verizon has bided its time without an iphone. they've played their strongest hand until now. a highly rated network that allows people to actually make phone calls. the war of words is in full swing, with a spokesman for at&t firing off this barrage -- "i'm not sure iphone users are ready for life in the slow lane." a comment on the speed of verizon's data network. verizon fired back, "at&t is known for a lot of things, but network quality is not one of them." then adding a comment you might expect to hear more on a playground than in a boardroom, "it must be backwards day at at&t." it's shaping up like coke versus pepsi in the heyday of the cola wars. >> more people prefer pepsi over coca-cola. >> reporter: get out your blindfolds and get ready to make some calls.
now that verizon has the iphone, the taste test is all about the bars. >> when at&t started having network problems, everybody thought they were going to take care of it, and they didn't. they increased their capacity, but it wasn't enough. nobody predicted initially exactly how much drain this phone was going to put on their network. verizon could be poised for the same thing. except we've talked to them and they seem extremely confident. >> reporter: analysts are already projecting that at&t could lose 6.5 million subscribers to verizon just this year. but what about all the other phones out there? while the iphone remained on at&t alone, google got into the race with a vengeance, selling android phones on just about every carrier and gaining market share to the point that the iphone isn't the clear leader. >> droid. >> verizon, it's definitely a problem for at&t to end their exclusivity. but i don't think that's going to slow their growth to a halt. >> they'll pick up an awful lot of new customers who have really said i want an iphone but i want verizon first. and now they get to get the phone that they've been waiting for since, you know, 2007.
>> reporter: while verizon and at&t duke it out, the only clear winner is apple. i'm neal karlinsky in los angeles. >> there are some big differences, though, between verizon, at&t, and the iphone. there's no data pricing plan yet, even though the new one from verizon will cost $200 to $400. no 4g network, which is the quicker one. and no global phone support. you can't use the phone in europe. unlike the at&t model. just yet. things will change. but there are some key differences for the folks making the switch. >> i'm also surprised by the colors. i know that's a silly thing to be excited about. but they're right now saying there could be a white iphone. verizon will have a white one and then at&t will be debuting it a little bit later. so if you like the colors and you're shallow, that's also an option. >> it's all about variety. well, coming up next, how the radio man rescued from homelessness, you remember that guy, well, now he's in trouble with the cops. and how 50 cent made a pretty penny without performing. next in "the skinny."
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roller coaster ride to the top. >> everyone loved him last week. >> now there's some sad news. he apparently was detained by lapd at a hollywood hotel after reports are that he and his daughter got into a heated argument monday night in a renaissance hollywood hotel. they say both parties were angry but there were no signs of visible abuse. the two were held at a police station for less than an hour, and they were not arrested. but he was basically in town to tape an appearance on "dr. phil." the interesting thing here is when we first met this guy he was very open with saying i was an alcoholic, i've been sober for more than two years. he was on dr. phil's show taping a segment where he met up with his ex-wife and five of his nine children. >> whoa. >> so as you can imagine, there's a lot of pressure on this guy right now. he went so far as to say when he was doing another interview, "i wanted a nerve pill yesterday, to be honest with you." he said dealing with all this new fame has really been a test for his sobriety. and keep in mind if you haven't heard all the offers for this guy, there's a commercial for kraft macaroni and cheese. he's of course been on every news show you can think of. he's done voice-over promos. and he's been offered an
announcing job with the cleveland cavaliers basketball team. tmz reported he was seen drinking or is rumored to have been drinking grey goose, an entire bottle a night. so the best wishes for this guy who had that meteoric rise to the top. and you hope that it's not over for him. >> and that's a tough life transition, to go from homelessness to fame, you know, just like that. this guy did kind of walk out on his family 20 years ago. as you can imagine, there were some residual issues with that. so it's a tough situation. hopefully, he'll work it out. well, apparently, who doesn't need to work it out is 50 cent. 50 apparently is playing the stocks and doing very well. he invested in this company called h & h. and get this. according to the "new york post," the rapper saw the value of his 30 million shares in this penny stock company go up by 9 million bucks. how? because he tweeted his fans, about 4 million folks, to invest in the company as well. so the stock rose just like that, from 10 cents to 39 cents because he literally tweeted, hey, invest in this company like i did. it's called h & h.
and apparently, it's a company that's selling 50's trademark sunglasses here. but you talk to people who really know the business, they say this is kind of a money-losing venture here and the long-term health of the company does not look good. it's 3.3 in debt and lost more than a million dollars last quarter. but just by tweeting the stock shot up just like that. >> as we hear more and more about these stories, you have to wonder could this be a pump and dump scenario? >> exactly. >> in which case it's interesting -- >> he's making his money, though, trust me. >> britney spears has a new song and it was released earlier than the label expected. take a listen to it, because it is doing very, very well. ♪ so come here ♪ a little closer it's the number 16 most played track in pop radio right now. so in case you're wondering, britney's back. i think she was never gone, though. but she's back. >> mm-hmm. we'll see. medicare supplement nsurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to " 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare,
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will join the president in arizona for the memorial. today marks one year since the catastrophic earthquake in haiti. former president bill clinton is already there to remember the hundreds of thousands of victims and to get an update on that country's recovery. and nikki haley will be sworn in today as south carolina's first woman governor. haley's a 38-year-old mother of two. she's also the second indian-american chief executive to take office. well, finally, the royal wedding is more than three months away. i haven't gotten my save the date, and i don't have my invitation. >> are you upset by that? i'm sure it's in the mail. don't worry about it. well, we do know, though, for sure one person who will not be on the invite list besides us, and we're learning more about the dress that kate will wear on top of that. miguel marquez has all the details now on that from london. >> reporter: as the guest list for the big day is finalized, one royal probably won't make the cut. sarah ferguson, asked if she was attending, said this -- >> the most important thing is that it's just fantastic news.
it's great news for william and catherine. and she's so beautiful. >> reporter: last may fergie caused enormous embarrassment to the royal family. busted on camera taking an $800,000 bribe. well, sarah ferguson may be on the outs, way out. kate middleton is definitely in. her name now owned by the royal family. the royal decree to stores here, sell or market anything under kate middleton's name and you'll be facing a royal lawsuit. middleton now a fashion icon. that blue issa dress she wore when she and prince william announced their engagement sold out in a day and inspired several cheaper copies. princess diana's dress was copied lightning fast. >> they must have had people, pattern cutters, machinists at the ready watching the tv as she walked down the aisle because the next day it was in all the high street shops. >> reporter: finally, kate's hometown of bucklebury, population 2,000, may get a bit
more populated. a tour company will start bringing mostly american tourists to see the quaint country village. miguel marquez, abc news, london. >> there's been so much talk about who is actually paying for this wedding, but now it is known that the royal family and the middletons will do the costs of the wedding and taxpayer money is going to be used for extra security and transport. so all those rumors that taxpayers were upset seem to be falling short. >> and they can't be too upset because it's actually going to be a public holiday the day they get married. april 29th. i'm sure we'll of course have